Pedazos de la Isla is a must-read for reports from the front lines of the struggle for freedom in Cuba.
A young dissident recounts how he defended various self-employed sellers who were being harassed by the police in Holguin and how, because of this, he suffered beatings and threats at the hands of the agents. The same people he defended then showed solidarity with him which impeded the violence for a moment. Afterward, however, he was arrested and victim to more repression. Here he details the forms of torture he was subjected to.
Denis Pino Basulto was walking near Cespedes Park in the city of Holguin on the morning of August 1st when he witnessed a strong presence of police agents who were harassing a number of self-employed sellers who were stationed in that area. Upon seeing that the agents were snatching bags from the hands of various people, twisting their arms and shoving them into cop cars in the process, Pino became very bothered.
The Holguin activist, a member of pro-freedom groups like the Pedro Luis Boitel Movement and the Patriotic Union of Cuba, could not remain silent when he saw National Revolutionary Police agents twisting the arms of an elderly man who was carrying a box of chocolates.
“At that moment, I questioned the police officials…I asked them how was it possible to carry out such violence against such an old person, and they simply told me ‘this does not concern you’“, recounts Denis, who attributed this brutality to the communist revolution. That is when the aggressions began.
“Another agent arrived and asked me, ‘Why do you talk like that about this revolution?’ and then he twisted my arms and threw me to the floor. He dragged me for approximately 2 meters and, with much difficulty, I was able to stand up and began to shout messages in favor of freedom of expression“.
The dissident alleges that the slogans, among them ‘Long Live Human Rights’, ‘Down with repression’, ‘Food for the people’, and ‘Fair salaries for our workers’ captured the attention of everyday people who were observing the situation. They joined him in solidarity.
“When they noticed that so many people were applauding me, the agents covered my mouth and applied a head-lock on me. They threw me to the floor but the people kept screaming in my favor“, explained Pino Bauslto, adding that “because of this solidarity the agents had to let me go and I was able to continue on my way…I kept walking and I could hear people still clapping“.
Read the whole story here.